Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To determine patient acceptability of barium enema (BE) or CT colonography (CTC). METHODS: After ethical approval, 921 consenting patients with symptoms suggestive of colorectal cancer who had been randomly assigned and completed either BE (N = 606) or CTC (N = 315) received a questionnaire to assess experience of the clinical episode including bowel preparation, procedure and complications. Satisfaction, worry and physical discomfort were assessed using an adapted version of a validated acceptability scale. Non-parametric methods assessed differences between the randomised tests and the effect of patient characteristics. RESULTS: Patients undergoing BE were significantly less satisfied (median 61, interquartile range [IQR] 54-67 vs. median 64, IQR 56-69; p = 0.003) and experienced more physical discomfort (median 40, IQR 29-52 vs. median 35.5, IQR 25-47; p < 0.001) than those undergoing CTC. Post-test, BE patients were significantly more likely to experience 'abdominal pain/cramps' (68% vs. 57%; p = 0.007), 'soreness' (57% vs. 37%; p < 0.001), 'nausea/vomiting' (16% vs. 8%; p = 0.009), 'soiling' (31% vs. 23%; p = 0.034) and 'wind' (92% vs. 84%; p = 0.001) and in the case of 'wind' to also rate it as severe (27% vs. 15%; p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: CTC is associated with significant improvements in patient experience. These data support the case for CTC to replace BE.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Radiol

Publication Date





2046 - 2055


Abdominal Pain, Aged, Barium, Choice Behavior, Colonic Neoplasms, Colonography, Computed Tomographic, Colonoscopy, Contrast Media, Enema, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Satisfaction, Reproducibility of Results, Surveys and Questionnaires